UPCOMING EVENT: Costa FLW Series - 2019 - St. Lawrence River

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Turner catches massive Amistad bass, sets FLW record

Turner catches massive Amistad bass, sets FLW record
Rick Turner hoists the heaviest bass caught in FLW Outdoors history - a 14-pound, 8-ounce Lake Amistad monster.

DEL RIO, Texas - Lake Amistad yet again proved its incredible mettle today, as it surrendered record bass for a third consecutive day at the Stren Series Texas Division event. Currently, Bob Coleman of Washington, Mo., leads the pro field with an astonishing three-day weight of 77 pounds, 10 ounces. Impressive as that may be, all eyes today were on the 14-pound, 8-ounce monster bass caught by No. 3 pro Rick Turner.

That enormous bass stands as the heaviest bass ever caught in any FLW Outdoors fishing event. Turner's 33-pound, 3-ounce day-three total haul is also second on the all-time list of heaviest day-three catches.

Obviously, the mind-boggling 14-8 was the heaviest bass Turner has ever caught, and it certainly got the attention of many people in the audience - competitors included - who had never laid eyes on a bass that size. For the record, he caught it on a prototype jig with a Kicker Fish Kicker Kraw junior trailer in green-pumpkin.

Coleman hauls them in, but lead remains slim

Bob Coleman assumed the pro lead on day three with an astonishing three-day weight of 77 pounds, 10 ounces.Although the record could not be confirmed by press time, it appears that Coleman's three-day haul of 77 pounds, 10 ounces is the FLW Outdoors record-holder for heaviest all-time three-day weight in a bass tournament. This is, however, the first season the Stren Series and other bass trails, such as the Wal-Mart FLW Series, have fished a third day without cutting the weights back to zero.

Coleman has been remarkably consistent throughout the event, catching 25-12 the first day, then 26-15 yesterday and 24-15 today. He caught a nice 9-pound, 2-ounce bass to complement the 9-6 he weighed in yesterday. Though his weight today was his lowest so far, he says today he enjoyed a better bite.

"The weather was nice this morning," he said. "That made a big difference. I had a lot more bites today, and everything just went perfect. Today I had 12 bites, and I caught two 9-plus-pounders - one today and one yesterday. You could fish for weeks and not do that."

Coleman says he's sticking with the same general game plan, fishing Texas-rigged soft plastics in deeper water.

"These are all prespawners," he said. "The big one today, she possibly may have spawned. They're just now starting to move up."

Though Coleman has only a 1-pound, 6-ounce lead despite his near-unbelievable three-day weight, he may have stumbled upon something today that ought to make anyone trying to catch up with him nervous.

"I found a new place," he said. "My co-angler probably caught two 7-pounders and I got two 6-pounders out of there an hour before we quit. I have a chance."

Indeed he does. The field was cut today to the top 10 pros and 10 co-anglers based on three-day weights, and it marks Coleman's first foray into the final round.

"I'm doing something a little different," he said. "Whether it will work tomorrow, well, your guess is as good as mine."

Schoonveld slips to second

Dan Schoonveld fell to second but remains in the hunt with 76 pounds, 4 ounces.The leader of days one and two, Dan Schoonveld of Mansura, La., caught a limit today weighing 19 pounds, 15 ounces to bring his two-day total to 76 pounds, 4 ounces, just less than a pound and a half behind the leader.

"The Lord is with me," Schoonveld said. "The last two days, it took me all day to get my fish. I made the right move at the right time, I guess."

Though tempted, Schoonveld wisely elected not to reveal his fish-catching methods that have had him on a tear since day one. Schoonveld is one of the anglers who wished for wind and got a little more than they bargained for.

"The wind is actually a little strong for what I'm doing," he said. "It needs to be 15 mph, not 30. I will say that I am finesse-fishing."

Also helping the cause is that the spot he has found has yet to run out of big bites.

"I found big fish in practice, and they're just continually moving in," he said. "But they're being caught every day. I keep going to this one area, and it's got a lot of pressure. I like a little seclusion - at least 50 or 60 yards! I just wasn't feeling it."

And just as Coleman figured out a little something that might leave competitors shaking in their socks, one would be unwise to count out Schoonveld just yet either.

"I've got nine more spots that I haven't touched this entire tournament," he said. "I might actually do something different tomorrow."

Turner catches monster out of worn-out spot

Rick Turner's 14-8 whale of a bass overshadows the fact that it was one of five bass that weighed 33 pounds, 3 ounces, the second-heaviest weight of the tournament and the second-heaviest day-three catch in the FLW record books.

"The area I'm fishing, I finished up there the first day, and I went back yesterday and stayed all day," Turner said. "I thought I had worn it out, but I got plenty of bites."

Like Schoonveld, Turner is enjoying a bite without end, of sorts.

"I think they're replenishing, heading in to spawn," he said. "I think it's a staging area."

Reneau, Curtis round out top five

No. 5 pro David Curtis caught this massive 11-pound, 13-ounce bass.In fourth place is Tim Reneau of Seguin, Texas, with a three-day catch of 65 pounds, 15 ounces. Today was his toughest day yet, as he brought in a personal tournament-low weight of 18 pounds, 1 ounce.

"Today I had my first bad day," he said. "I lost a lot of good ones. It gets harder every day. I still haven't fished where I wanted to fish yet because it's too rough. But anything can happen on the final day with only 10 guys."

Taking the fifth spot is David Curtis of Trinity, Texas, with 63 pounds, 15 ounces of bass over three days. Today was his best day so far, as he brought in a limit weighing 27 pounds, 1 ounce that included an 11-pound, 13-ounce big bass that, unfortunately for Curtis, was trumped by Turner's hog.

"I caught the big one on a swimbait," Curtis said. "I've tried to stay out of the wind, but I did catch the big fish fighting considerable wind. I really expected to sight-fish this week, but I found out pretty quickly that if the wind blew at all, you couldn't do it effectively."

Rest of the best

Rounding out the top 10 pros who will compete in the final round at Lake Amistad:

6th: Robert Robinson, Mobile, Ala., 15 bass, 62-8
7th: Ronnie Eschete Jr., Thibodaux, La., 14 bass, 62-3
8th: Stephen Johnston, Hemphill, Texas, 15 bass, 61-10
9th: Barry Smith, Palo Pinto, Texas, 15 bass, 60-10
10th: Jim Tutt, Longview, Texas, 15 bass 60-1

Ballard makes co-angler history

Co-angler leader Jimmy BallardWith a day-three limit weighing 29 pounds, Jimmy Ballard of Powderly, Texas, is now listed in the record books as having brought in the heaviest day-three co-angler catch in FLW Outdoors history. His three-day total weight of 70 pounds, 10 ounces is also likely a co-angler record, but that is unconfirmed at this time.

With his 70-10 weight, Ballard has opened up a lead of 14 pounds, 10 ounces heading into the final day of competition. This is his first Stren Series top-10 performance.

"I'm just kind of in awe," he said. "I knew how to catch them as far as fishing shallow water, and it happened. It's been a magical day is all I can say."

By lunch, Ballard had a 20-pound limit, and this is at a tournament where many have complained about a slow bite due to the excessive winds. By 1:30, Ballard had 29 pounds in the boat. As such, Ballard feels good about his chances on day four, particularly with a 14-pound, 10-ounce lead.

"I've got a pretty good cushion," he said. "I hope that (tomorrow) we fish basically what I've done the last three days. I've fished shallow for two days and deep the other."

Also helping Ballard's success is the fact that he has been at Lake Amistad for two weeks, coming off another tournament where he finished in the top 20.

"It helped me a bunch to know what to do," he said.

Herline, Johnston far behind the leader, but still in top three

Wayne Johnston ended day three as the No. 3 co-angler with a combined weight of 53 pounds, 7 ounces.In second place with a three-day weight of 56 pounds is Neil Herline of Silsbee, Texas. Herline had his best day yet fishing out of the back of leader Coleman's boat, as he caught a limit weighing 22 pounds, 9 ounces. Tomorrow he will fish with Schoonveld, leader of days one and two.

In third is Wayne Johnston of Port Arthur, Texas, with 53 pounds, 7 ounces of bass over three days. He fished with pro Corey Waldrop today, who finished 16th on the pro side.

"It had a lot to do with the pro, Corey," Johnston said. "If you don't know where they are, you don't catch them, and he put me on fish."

Vogt, Herron hang in there in top five

Co-angler John Vogt continues his top-10 run, ending day three in the fourth position with 53-2 over three days.Ending the day in fourth is John Vogt of Boerne, Texas, with 53 pounds, 2 ounces over three days. He had his toughest day yet today, catching five that weighed only 12 pounds, 9 ounces.

"Today I struggled," he said. "I didn't get any big bites, but tomorrow is a whole new day. I'm just going to go fishing."

Behind him in fifth is Michael Herron of Paris, Texas, with 52 pounds of bass over three days.

"Today started out really slow, so I was really worried," he said. "My pro kept telling me I'd get 10 pounds, and I did."

Rest of the best

Jacob Brown is the No. 6 co-angler after day three with 51 pounds, 13 ounces.Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers who will compete in the final round at Lake Amistad:

6th: Jacob Brown, Clyde, Texas, 15 bass, 51-13
7th: Robert Ballard, Del Rio, Texas, 15 bass, 49-1
8th: Clark Franklin, Midland, Texas, 15 bass, 47-0
9th: Jim Behnken, Floresville, Texas, 15 bass, 46-8
10th: Matt Williams, Nacogdoches, Texas, 15 bass, 46-7

Final round Saturday

Day four of Texas Division competition at Lake Amistad begins as the final-round field of 10 boats takes off from Lake Amistad Marina (East Diablo Launch Ramp) at 7:45 a.m. Central time Saturday. Each division's winner will be determined by four-day combined weight.

Tags: jennifer-simmons  headline-story  2007-03-21-lake-amistad 

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